Hearing loss is not always preventable, but there are steps that you can take to help prevent it. Follow these tips to help reduce your risk of hearing loss.
1. Prevent noise induced hearing loss
Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud environments, whether at work, in a social environment or while engaging in sports. The positive thing about noise induced hearing loss is that it can be completely preventable by taking some simple steps to protect your ears:
- Wear hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs
- Move away from the direct source of loud noises
- Try to take a break from the noise every 15 minutes
- Give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise
2. Be aware of how loud your surroundings are
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB); the higher the number, the louder the noise. Sounds over 85dB can be harmful to your hearing, particularly if you are exposed to this level for a prolonged period of time. Common decibels that you may experience in your everyday life are:
- Whispering – 30dB
- Conversation – 60dB
- Busy traffic – 70 to 85dB
- Motorbike – 90dB
- Listening to music on full volume through headphones – 100 to 110dB
- Plane taking off – 120dB
There are smartphone apps that can help to measure noise levels. While these are a great method to monitor how loud your surroundings are, ensure that the app is configured correctly to provide a more accurate reading.
3. Know the warning signs
Hearing loss rarely strikes unannounced. Warning signs that you have been exposed to a dangerous level of noise include:
- You experience ringing, buzzing or humming in your ears following exposure to noise.
- You can hear people talking, but struggle to understand what they are saying after being in a noisy environment.
- Your ears feel “full” after leaving a noisy area, such as a music gig or nightclub.
4. Get your hearing checked regularly
If you’re at higher risk of noise induced hearing loss, consider annual hearing check-ups. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it.
These tips can help you to prevent hearing loss. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to dangerous noise levels and may be suffering from hearing loss, click here to book a consultation with our audiologist today, or contact us on (212) 786-5741.